Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf issued a "plea" on Monday to the state's residents to maintain social distancing and other efforts as the state reported a significant increase in COVID-19 cases once again.

The state reported 2,400 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday and Monday. The number of new cases has now exceeded more than 1,000 for the past 14 days.

The Fall Resurgence Is Here & Officials Blame Small Gatherings

“The fall resurgence is here," Governor Wolf said on Monday. “While we always have to take this deadly virus seriously, we really have to double down on our efforts to keep ourselves and the people around us safe.”

Officials blame lax safety procedures at small gatherings of friends and families as a large culprit behind the state's rapid growth.

“We are seeing community spread of COVID-19 in every region of Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania's Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said on Monday. “So that is from frequenting a restaurant or going to a gathering."

Levine said small gatherings of families and friends are worrisome because "people might not be as vigilant with social distancing and masking. However, someone has an asymptomatic case of COVID-19 and it spreads.”

The state is now reporting a positivity rate of 4.3%, which is the highest reported total since early August.

In our area, on Monday, the city of Philadelphia reported 614 new cases of the virus since Friday. The total number of cases in the city crossed 40,000 since the pandemic began.

Contact Tracing Remains Difficult

It was also revealed during today's COVID-19 update that many Pennsylvanians have not been helpful when they've been contacted by contact tracers.

Dr. Rachel Levine says that 67% of people who were contacted by contact tracers after testing positive for the virus earlier this month did not answer if they had been to a business or mass gathering in the days prior to their positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Dr. Levine reminds Pennsylvanians that they need to answer those calls and it's important that they truthfully reveal where they've been so tracers can track the virus and alert those who you've had direct contact with about the risks factors.